Malcolm Pein on…Aronian’s Clean Sheet

firouzja-aronian after 30.Rg1

Malcolm Pein on…Aronian’s Clean Sheet Levon Aronian continued his fine form in the preliminary rounds of the $100,000 (£71,000) Goldmoney Asian Rapid on Chess24 and ended top of the field with an unbeaten 10.5/15. Aronian went into the eight-player knockout phase as top seed, where he faces the 17-year-old Indian prodigy Arjun Erigaisi, who finished […]

Malcolm Pein on…Carlsen’s Struggle

Malcolm Pein on…Carlsen’s Struggle Magnus Carlsen lost his opening games on days one and two of the $100,000 (£71,000) Goldmoney Asian Rapid. On day one, Carlsen was outplayed by the Iranian prodigy Alireza Firouzja in the middlegame and a winning position evaporated. In round six, Carlsen lost to Levon Aronian, who emerged as co-leader going […]

Malcolm Pein on…Shankland’s Success

Malcolm Pein on…Shankland’s Success The Prague International Chess Festival went ahead this month, featuring a 99-player Open and headlined by an eight-player Masters Group. Sam Shankland returned to the 2700 club as he racked up an impressive 5.5/7 for a 2905 performance. Shankland outplayed Jan-Krzysztof Duda, but otherwise the Polish number one shone too as […]

Malcolm Pein on…The Unstoppable So

Malcolm Pein on…The Unstoppable So Wesley So was unstoppable in the Blitz at the Paris Grand Chess Tour, scoring nine wins and nine draws, to win the event at a canter. So lost just one game to Levon Aronian. Only world title contender Ian Nepomniachtchi was able to stay within striking distance, until So secured […]

Malcolm Pein on…Hero Harry

Malcolm Pein on…Hero Harry Harry the h-pawn made an appearance at the Grand Chess Tour’s second leg in Paris which was a 10-player Rapid and Blitz. The Hungarian GM Richard Rapport, known as one of the most uncompromising attacking players in world chess, launched his assault as early as move three. Just a dozen moves […]

Malcolm Pein on…Distance Learning

Malcolm Pein on…Distance Learning Sam Shankland won the Prague Chess Festival Masters and took himself back over the 2700 barrier. Two of Shankland’s opponents put in a bit of overtime and gave the spectators a lesson on the distant opposition. The standard opposition involves placing one square between your king and the enemy king. With […]

Malcolm Pein Says…It’s A Blunderful Life

Malcolm Pein Says…It’s A Blunderful Life Alireza Firouzja dominated the world-class field at the Paris leg of the Grand Chess Tour when the Blitz got under way. The Iranian prodigy, who is resident in France, started with 5.5/6 and ended with 6.5/9 on day one to rise to join fourth overall. Firouzja had a torrid […]

Malcolm Pein on…Blackburn’s Victory

Malcolm Pein on…Blackburn’s Victory After the pandemic prevented the Welsh Championships from being played over the Easter weekend both last year and this, the event emigrated online. The Welsh Online Chess Championship took place on the Lichess platform over the second May Bank Holiday weekend. Regular Welsh Olympiad team member Jonathan Blackburn triumphed with 5.5/7, […]

Malcolm Pein on…The Power of the Pin

Malcolm Pein on…The Power of the Pin In the absence of Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura, no player was able to assert their authority at the Grand Chess Tour Paris Rapid. After the second day of three, the American duo of Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So shared the lead with Muscovite world title contender Ian […]

Malcolm Pein on…The Tour Striking Gold

The Meltwater Champions Chess Tour online at Chess24 has struck gold with a new sponsor backing the seventh leg, the Goldmoney Asian Rapid.The event has a $100,000 (£71,000) prize pot. The Tour climaxes with a face to face competition in San Francisco in September. The 16 players make up the most interesting and varied field […]

Malcolm Pein on…The 24-Hour Blitz Marathon

The English Chess Federation raised over £5,000 for the Red Cross recently when it staged a 292-player, 24-hour Blitz Marathon, ‘Checkmate Covid, The Rematch’, on GM Keith Arkell finished way out in front, with the prodigy Shreyas Royal second. Both players managed to stay awake virtually throughout. Twenty titled players supported the event, either […]

Malcolm Pein on…Kramnik’s Design

Malcolm Pein on…Kramnik’s Design The second event of the 2021 Grand Chess Tour is underway in Paris. Shak Mamedyarov’s fine win in round seven of the Grand Chess Tour’s Superbet Chess Classic in Bucharest given yesterday featured an early g7-g5 thrust that was inspired by Aronian-Kramnik from the 2018 Candidates tournament in Berlin. This game […]